Termites and Dead Wood in Pine Plantations

A handful of the world’s 3,100 known termite species damage homes. In forests, however, termites are valuable. “Termites recycle dead…  More 

Sabbaticals Bring Exciting Innovations to Forest Research

Three U.S. Forest Service scientists will be expanding on current research — or focusing on new or emerging research — as recipients of the SRS sabbatical program. The sabbaticals will give these researchers the opportunity to collaborate with researchers from around the world. “The sabbatical will afford each of the scientists an opportunity to be…  More 

Climate Influences Male-Female Balance in Longleaf Pines

For many reptile and fish species, temperature during egg incubation determines whether hatchlings are male or female. In the northern part of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, scientists have discovered that 99 percent of immature green turtles hatched in warming sands are female, raising concerns about successful reproduction in the future. U.S. Forest Service scientists have…  More 

Immigration and Reproduction Complicate Coyote Control Programs

Coyotes arrived in the Southeast relatively recently. “Beginning in the early 20th century, coyotes started moving eastward,” says John Kilgo, a research biologist with the U.S. Forest Service. “But they weren’t recorded in South Carolina until the late 1970s.” From an evolutionary perspective, they’ve been incredibly successful. They have become quite common in the Southeast.…  More 

Green Space, Human Health, and Social Justice

Urban green spaces like parks, urban forests, and greenways are often not equally available to everyone. “My research focuses on the nexus between urban nature, social justice, and health as it relates to factors such as income, race, and socioeconomic status,” says U.S. Forest service biological scientist Viniece Jennings. Existing research has described the benefits…  More 

Daily Precipitation Patterns Are Changing at Coweeta

Since 1950, heavy rains have become more common in the southern Appalachians. U.S. Forest Service researchers have witnessed such changes at Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory. Coweeta was established in 1934. Its location in the mountains of western North Carolina is no accident – early Forest Service researchers strategically selected it. “Coweeta receives as much as 90…  More 

How Cold Is Too Cold for Redbay Ambrosia Beetles?

Nonnative redbay ambrosia beetles and the fungus they carry have killed hundreds of millions of trees in the Southeast since first detected in 2002. Currently, only cold temperatures limit the beetles’ establishment and spread in the eastern United States. A study led by Mississippi State University involving U.S. Forest Service researchers determined the coldest temperatures…  More 

Adaptations Help Illustrate Importance of Biodiversity

Protection and restoration of open pine ecosystems — woodlands dominated by large pine trees spaced about 50 feet apart with sparse mid-story and shrub layers and a rich herbaceous layer — in the Coastal Plain of southern Arkansas has been a high priority of the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and partners for over two decades.…  More 

Urban Forests & Stormwater Management

Raindrops that land on trees may never hit the ground. “Trees intercept a significant amount of rain,” says U.S. Forest Service science delivery specialist Eric Kuehler. Once intercepted by a leaf or branch, some rain evaporates. Some trickles down the tree’s stem and seeps into the soil. “Soil is the best place to store water,”…  More 

Chief’s Award, International Honors, and Director’s Awards

USDA Forest Service Recognition SRS research hydrologist Ge Sun received one of the highest honors in the agency, the Forest Service Chief’s Honor Award. At a ceremony in December in Washington, DC, Sun received recognition for “Applying Knowledge Globally.” This award recognizes his research productivity, leadership, and partnerships that have furthered understanding of the relationships among…  More 

Do Roads Drive Forest Plant Invasions?

Roads provide a means for moving people and products, but they can also allow hitchhiking organisms to spread. Some exotic invasive plants thrive on the disturbance created by road construction that displaces native plants. However, a new study led by Kurt Riitters, U.S. Forest Service research ecologist with the SRS Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center, found…  More